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How HoYoverse’s favouritism towards Honkai: Star Rail is influencing Genshin Impact

Two Games, Same Dev, Different Treatment!

Genshin Impact is a fantasy RPG launched in September 2020. Honkai: Star Rail on the other hand is a fantasy turn-based game launched in April of 2023. Both games have been developed and published by HoYoverse. As we are nearing Honkai: Star Rail’s 1st Anniversary, let’s discuss how both Genshin Impact and Honkai: Star Rail are in comparison.

Introducing Genshin Impact: HoYoverse’s Shot-Up to Succession

In September 2020, Genshin Impact made its debut amidst skepticism within various online communities. Initially dismissed by some as a mere imitation of another prominent RPG, the game defied expectations and soared to unprecedented success.

Its player base skyrocketed, accompanied by a surge in sales for upcoming limited banners. This dramatic rise can be attributed in part to its unexpected release timing amid the pandemic that occurred around the time when many found themselves with plenty of free time at home.

Genshin Impact, Genshin Impact wallpaper
Image via miHoYo

Genshin Impact swiftly became the crown jewel of HoYoverse, generating significant revenue for the company. While its peak popularity may have been observed during 2021-2022, the game has since established itself as a foundation of stability, with a devoted fan community to back it up.

The enduring appeal of the game lies in its captivating storytelling, intricate world-building, diverse character design, and engaging gameplay mechanics. As HoYoverse’s flagship title, Genshin Impact shows no signs of slowing down. Its combination of immersive gameplay elements ensures its continued prosperity in the gaming industry.

Honkai: Star Rail maintained HoYoverse’s successful run

With the resounding success of Genshin Impact, HoYoverse found the push they needed to branch out and delve into the development of more games. Among these successfully launched projects came Honkai: Star Rail, a game that is seamlessly integrated into the Honkai-verse lore. Anticipation ran high among fans with such a release of a game, as it’s evident in the pre-registration numbers that far surpassed even Genshin Impact’s initial figures.

Honkai Star Rail Version 1.2 Game Cover
Image via HoYoverse

The fervent support from the fanbase translated into a swift embrace of Star Rail upon its release. Despite its departure from the real-time mechanics of Genshin Impact, being a turn-based game, fans were drawn instead to its captivating storytelling, striking character designs, and the appeal of playing a fresh new HoYoverse game.

The timing of Honkai: Star Rail’s launch in April 2023 couldn’t have been more fitting as Genshin Impact faced a content drought. Many of the fans expressed feelings of burnout and a lack of enjoyment. This circumstance further propelled fans toward Star Rail, providing a welcome alternative.

Fan Community Concerns: Genshin Impact vs. Honkai: Star Rail

Let’s take a deep dive into the Genshin Impact and Honkai: Star Rail comparison many fans have expressed.

1. End-Game Content

In Honkai: Star Rail, players are treated to an array of engaging endgame content, ensuring ample replayability. Despite its relatively young running time of just under a year, the game consistently rolls out challenging combat-focused content tailored for mid-to-late-game players. Notable examples include the Simulated Universe with Gold and Gears and Swarm Disaster, along with the Memory of Chaos.

Honkai Star Rail Simulated Universe World 9 Guide
Image via HoYoverse

On the other hand, Genshin Impact, having matured over the past three years, finds itself predominantly inhabited by many veterans who started around 2021-2022. Many of these players have expressed a desire for enhancements to the existing endgame content such as the Spiral Abyss.

Players expressed a desire for fresh new combat-focused challenges where their meticulously curated roster of characters can truly shine in the field. However, disappointingly, there has been a noticeable absence of updates or announcements from the developers regarding any new additions to satisfy this growing demand.

Genshin Impact 3.5 3.3 3.2 Spiral Abyss Guide Stars Cover
Image via HoYoverse

QoL System

The Quality of Life (QoL) improvements in Honkai: Star Rail has consistently outshone those in Genshin Impact with each patch update. While Genshin Impact introduces new characters, regions, and boss fights, the continuous influx of content can make farming for materials and artifacts feel overwhelming. Fortunately, Honkai: Star Rail offers a more relaxed farming experience, thanks to its QoL updates that have been consistently rolled out each patch.

For instance, players can convert their character material, re-roll all released Relics, and engage in the same boss battles up to three times without hassle. However, a major concern among Genshin Impact players remains, which is the Resin system. Locked at 160 resin for years, with a maximum of 5 condensed resin only made, it constrains gameplay and resource management.

In stark contrast, Honkai: Star Rail introduces Trailblaze Power, its equivalent of Resin, which has been generously increased to 240. Furthermore, the game features Reserved Trailblaze Power, akin to condensed resin, allowing players to accumulate excess TP beyond the cap. This affords a more leisurely gameplay experience, as players can let resin accumulate without fear of waste.

Leniency in Obtainable Characters

Moreover, Honkai Star Rail offers a more player-friendly approach to obtaining characters and light cones compared to Genshin Impact. In Honkai: Star Rail, players can secure a guaranteed Permanent 5-Star character from the Beginner’s Banner after 50 pulls, along with the flexibility to select a 5-Star character of their choice from the Standard Banner after 300 pulls.

Honkai Star Rail Hanya Banner
Image via HoYoverse

One particular note is the Light Cone banners, which deviate from the conventional 50/50 chance distribution. Instead, Honkai: Star Rail adopts a more favorable 75/25 chance ratio, significantly increasing the likelihood of obtaining the limited Light Cone featured in the banner.

Even if players miss out on this opportunity, they are assured of obtaining the guaranteed Light Cone in their next 5-Star pull. This stands in stark contrast to Genshin Impact’s Weapon Banner, where players must endure two losses in the 50/50 chance scenario to secure the guaranteed 5-Star limited weapon.

Genshin Impact version 4.3 Banners Phase 2
Image by HoYoverse

Balancing Criticism: Over-reaction or Justifiable Concerns

There is an obvious power system at play in both games, characterized by the different types of Elements and the game mechanics at play. However, a notable criticism voiced by fans revolves around the perceived abundance of in-game currency, such as Stellar Jades in Honkai: Star Rail, and Star Rail Special Pass (comparable to Intertwined Fates in Genshin Impact), in contrast to Genshin Impact’s reward system.

While it’s tempting to envy Star Rail’s generous reward system, players mustn’t draw direct comparisons with Genshin Impact. The fundamental reason lies in the ever-evolving META of Star Rail, which introduces two new limited 5-Star characters and one 4-Star character with each patch released.

This rapid character release schedule often overwhelms players, making it challenging to keep pace with acquiring the latest additions to their roster. Consequently, older characters risk becoming overshadowed by their newer counterparts.

Honkai Star Rail Memory of Chaos
Image via HoYoverse

In light of this dynamic environment, the provision of such a hefty reward system serves as a compensatory measure, giving the players the ability to obtain the newly released characters.

This approach acknowledges the inherent volatility of Star Rail’s META and seeks to alleviate the pressure on players striving to play the endgame combat-heavy content in the game (Simulated Universe, Memory of Chaos, etc.). Thus, while the disparity in reward quantity between the two games may seem glaring, it reflects the unique demands posed by each game’s gameplay and setting.

Final Thoughts

The fan community finds itself deeply divided over HoYoverse’s disparate treatment of its games. While a significant portion of fans directs heightened criticism towards Genshin Impact, particularly in light of the contrasting generosity displayed in Version 2.1 of Honkai: Star Rail for its first anniversary, it’s essential to recognize the fundamental distinctions between the two titles.

Genshin Impact and Honkai: Star Rail offers unique gaming experiences, each characterized by distinct combat systems, narrative arcs, and mechanics. Attempting to scrutinize and compare them under the same lens proves futile and ultimately detracts from appreciating their merits.

Check our other editorials on Genshin Impact here:

What are your thoughts on the Genshin Impact and Honkai: Star Rail comparison? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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